The paper provides insights into the implications for innovation input of having women on company boards. It sheds light on the effects of critical mass and expert power of women directors, and the moderating role played by female CEOs. Drawing on a sample of Italian companies in the high-tech industry, the study shows that having women on the board positively affects innovation input, measured as R&D spending, but only when they reach a critical mass. This result highlights that having a critical mass of women directors can limit the biases of other board members and improve women’s ability to influence innovation. The analyses also show that the expert power of women directors has positive implications for R&D spending. More mature and powerful women can improve board decision-making by providing new ideas and perspectives that may prompt company innovation. Finally, the presence of a woman as CEO positively moderates the relationships between innovation input and both critical mass and expert power of women directors. The results therefore support the idea that CEO-board gender similarity may encourage the commitment of women directors and foster company innovation.

Do women directors contribute to R&D? The role of critical mass and expert power

Saggese, Sara
;
Sarto, Fabrizia;Viganò, Riccardo
2021

Abstract

The paper provides insights into the implications for innovation input of having women on company boards. It sheds light on the effects of critical mass and expert power of women directors, and the moderating role played by female CEOs. Drawing on a sample of Italian companies in the high-tech industry, the study shows that having women on the board positively affects innovation input, measured as R&D spending, but only when they reach a critical mass. This result highlights that having a critical mass of women directors can limit the biases of other board members and improve women’s ability to influence innovation. The analyses also show that the expert power of women directors has positive implications for R&D spending. More mature and powerful women can improve board decision-making by providing new ideas and perspectives that may prompt company innovation. Finally, the presence of a woman as CEO positively moderates the relationships between innovation input and both critical mass and expert power of women directors. The results therefore support the idea that CEO-board gender similarity may encourage the commitment of women directors and foster company innovation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/832652
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